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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), otherwise known as acid reflux, occurs when acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus, causing discomfort, chest pains, and heartburn. While lifestyle and diet can cause many to experience acid reflux from time to time, those who experience symptoms more frequently may have developed GERD, with symptoms reoccurring once or twice a week.

Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscles that control the opening and closing of the passage between the esophagus and the stomach, is weakened or unable to function properly. This muscle group allows food to pass through the esophagus into the stomach, but should tighten after to prevent the painful backflow of acid.

Treatment and Care

There are several options for those who suffer from GERD, including lifestyle changes, prescription medications, including proton pump inhibitors, and surgery.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has over 10 years’ experience in treating GERD with minimally invasive procedures, utilizing the most advanced technological devices in treating these complicated medical conditions.

Dr. Ragui Sadek, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson University HospitalUnder the direction of Dr. Ragui Sadek, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has become one of the first in the region to offer a surgically implanted device known as the Linx, a magnetic ring placed around the lower esophagus to prevent acid reflux and eliminate long-lasting GERD.

Our dedicated physicians have incorporated a device known as the EndoFLIP into the Linx procedure in order to place the magnetic rings around the patient’s esophagus as precisely as possible. The EndoFLIP is a probe inserted into the esophagus of the patient prior to Linx placement in order to scientifically measure what size and where the device should be positioned. With both of these technologies now available to patients with acid reflux, RWJUH has become the highest performing facility in the Northeast for this innovative solution.

Once in place, the Linx acts as a control valve between the esophagus and the stomach, allowing food to pass through and preventing reflux from flowing up into the esophagus. The magnetic beads that make up the Linx assist the weakened muscles of the esophagus, thus reinforcing the natural barrier that prevents acid reflux.